This study examines family school enrollment practices under five distinct national/regional contexts in two sub-Saharan African nations, Malawi and Kenya. This paper presents a model of family enrollment practices rooted in family economy theory and dependent upon local, regional, and national contexts of schooling. The model incorporates social capital arguments that family decision-making strategies may be influenced by members' networks of social relationships within communities. The paper discusses specific national and regional contexts highlighting aspects of institutional change in sub-Saharan Africa. The findings suggest that a broadened family institution model, along with community social capital contexts, can provide a more comprehensive and nuanced explanation of enrollment practices. Implications for scholarship and policy are discussed.